Aerospace Exec Selected as Our New CEO

As released to the press today: Officials of one of the nation’s largest food banks have announced the appointment of Kenneth R. Estelle as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 27.

Estelle was recently a vice president and general manager with Rockwell Collins, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of communication and aviation electronics, where he had profit-and-loss responsibility for a global support business with $800 million in revenue. He has also worked for years as a hunger relief volunteer and food bank supporter.

According to Kevin Begin, board president of Feeding America West Michigan, “We are delighted and honored to be partnering with Ken Estelle. His leadership, strategic focus, fiscal responsibility and desire to join us on our mission were clearly evident during our recruiting process.”

In fact, Estelle and his wife, Kathy, were active anti-hunger volunteers in West Michigan from 1998 through 2007, when Estelle worked for G.E. Aerospace (formerly Smiths Industries) in Grand Rapids. Following their move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa (world headquarters of Rockwell Collins), they continued to volunteer for their church, as well as flood clean-up and reconstruction efforts.

“Ken definitely takes fighting hunger very seriously,” Begin noted. “He and Kathy helped start a mobile food pantry at their church in Kent County and later supported the mobile food pantry in Allegan County, using our food bank to stock it. Even after relocating to Iowa, they continued to support the (Allegan) pantry and our food bank over the years. That commitment gave all of us clear insight into the kind of person Ken Estelle is.”

Estelle said, “I feel a strong desire to apply my experience and leadership skills to helping people, and in particular to helping relieve hunger. I am very impressed with Feeding America West Michigan. It has worked successfully with many organizations and individuals to provide practical, consistent service to so many people who are hungry.”

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